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STANNAH LIFTS - Semta

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					CASE STUDY
STANNAH LIFTS




                                                                               A family-owned firm with a history dating back to
                                                                               the 1860s, the entire Stannah Group employs 1,600
                                                                               people with 180 of them based at the Stannah Lifts
                                                                               manufacturing centre at Anton Mill, Andover.
                                                                               In 2008, 10 members of the Stannah Lifts team
                                                                               took part in a pilot programme developed by
                                                                               the Skills Academy and delivered by VT Training,
                                                                               which has itself undergone an intensive upskilling
                                                                               programme to become an approved Skills Academy
                                                                               training provider. As a result, the company has
                                                                               already seen a number of improvements on the
                                                                               shop floor. Graeme Tonks, Manufacturing Manager
                                                                               at Stannah Lifts explains: “We already look set to
                                                                               break our target of reducing work hours per unit
                                                                               by 10 per cent thanks to the training which has
                                                                               equipped staff with the skills they need to identify
                                                                               improvements on the shop floor.”
                                                                               Meanwhile, as part of his NVQ, one member of
“The B-IT NVQ          Investment in training pays off for
                                                                               staff has helped to increase sales of spares by
has given me a         Stannah                                                 16 per cent. Spares Co-ordinator, Nick Powell,
much better            As a leading brand renowned for the manufacture         completely re-designed the company’s spares
understanding of       of lifts and stairlifts, The Stannah Group has always   catalogue, making it easier to use. As a result, he
the needs of the       considered its workforce as one of its most valuable    has halved the number of incoming calls from
business, as well as   assets. With the help of the National Skills Academy    agents and engineers requesting clarification on the
                       for Manufacturing (the Skills Academy), one part        availability or suitability of individual parts.
the confidence to
                       of the group is seeing remarkable returns on its        Nick comments: “The B-IT NVQ has given me a
come forward with
                       investment in skills training.                          much better understanding of the needs of the
ideas to improve
                       Based in Andover, Hampshire, Stannah Lifts Limited      business, as well as the confidence to come forward
performance.”
                       was amongst the first companies in the UK to             with ideas to improve performance.
Nick Powell            obtain Investors in People status. In recent years      “I worked on the new parts catalogue for over nine
Spares Co-ordinator    Stannah has taken staff development to the next         months as a project for the qualification but I’m
                       level thanks to unique NVQ programmes in Business       now developing an e-shop so that parts can easily
                       Improvement Techniques (B-IT), developed by the         be ordered over the internet.”
                       Skills Academy to meet the company’s specific
                       needs.
The pilot NVQ Level 2 in B-IT was developed by            Alastair Stannah, Managing Director of Stannah
utilising the Skills Academy’s Learning Engine            Lifts Ltd, is equally delighted with the Skills
approach that ensures all training is linked to           Academy and VT Training for their efforts in
business objectives and that skills learnt are put into   ensuring that the training provided was bespoke,
practice in the workplace. Rather than searching          rather than an ‘off-the-shelf’ product.
for arbitrary improvements that tick boxes for the
                                                          Alastair comments: “The Skills Academy has
qualification, this revolutionary approach ensures
                                                          responded positively to our feedback during
all improvements are focussed on real business
                                                          the pilot and overall I’m sure that the resulting
priorities, unlike other B-IT programmes in the
                                                          programme has helped us to survive the current
marketplace.
                                                          economic slowdown. The project has been a very
At Stannah, it has proved so successful that a            positive experience for everyone involved.”
second cohort is now embarking on the programme
                                                          Bill Twigg, Development Director for the Skills
whilst those that have completed the course
                                                          Academy, says their achievements reflect the
– which includes four, one day workshops – is
                                                          importance of matching training to clearly
embarking on a Level 3 qualification.
                                                          identified business needs.
According to the Stannah Lifts Operations Director,
                                                          “We are delighted to be working with such a
Kim Saville, the B-IT programme also fits well with
                                                          forward-thinking company that has taken a long-
the company’s ethos of staff development.
                                                          term view when it comes to staff development; as
“Continuous improvement runs through the veins of         opposed to cutting costs short-term and losing their
the company and at any one time up to 40 per cent         skill base.”
of staff are engaged with some form of training
activity,” Kim explains.
“However we felt that we had reached something
of a ceiling with continuous improvement and we
needed new tools to take this to a new level.
“We also wanted to find a qualification that would
equip employees with new skills, rather than                                             Stannah Factfile
just recognising the ones they already had. It                                           ■ Stannah was founded in the 1860s by
also needed to fit in with our company business                                             Joseph Stannah and remains a family
objectives.                                                                                owned and managed business.
“The B-IT NVQ exactly meets our needs. It was                                            ■ In 1999 the Stannah Stairlifts division of
almost too good to be true. The Skills Academy                                             the Group received its third Queen’s Award
and Keith Jones from VT Training have worked                                               for Export and in 2003 it received awards
hard to match both the content and delivery to                                             from the Business Innovation Skills (BIS)
our own, individual needs. The end result is a                                             for being the best manufacturing and
training programme tailored to meet our business                                           engineering factory in the UK.
objectives.”                                                                             ■ The Stannah Group consists of Stannah
                                                                                           Lifts Limited, Stannah Stair Lifts Limited,
                                                                                           Stannah Microlifts Limited and Stannah Lift
                                                                                           Services Limited.




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